First time going to CSS Ocho and my Fiancee was considering the Penthouse rooms. I am a bit concerned because of all the stairs and he does have a total hip replacement but his hip is in perfect shape per his Dr. Still, a few martinis later could be a problem so I am wondering if there is that much of a difference between the one bedroom beachfront suite and the penthouse.
Hubby and I always stay in the Penthouse Suites. They are only in blocks C, D, and E. The Penthouse Suites in E are centrally located without too many stairs, but if there is an issue with taking the stairs back to the room after a night of fantastic martinis, you can always call Guest Services and they will send the van to pick you to get you to your building. This cuts down on the number of stairs you have to take. The Penthouses in D Block are the most sought after because of the views and the large balconies; however, if you are in one of the penthouses on the top of D there is a narrow flight of stairs up to your room that can be treacherous after a few cocktains---yes I speak from experience!:-) I have never stayed in the beachfront suites, but they are close to the main pool and beach and the beach grill. If you are on the first floor, there are no stairs for you to take. These rooms are convenient, but they have very small balconies---only a table and 2 chairs---no loungers. If you're worried about your fiance's hip the beachfront suites might be a good choice for you.
There is a more stair climbing if you choose a penthouse instead of a beachfront. Both suite types are nice so it depends on what you're looking for. Both have nice, large rooms with separate living and sleeping areas. The penthouse has a larger balcony with table, chairs and loungers. The beachfronts have a round table with 2 chairs as there's not much room on the balcony. The beachfronts, as the name implies, are closer to the beach and most of the places people frequent (i.e. breakfast, lunch, etc.) as compared to the penthouse.
Best wishes on making the choice that's right for you!